It’s already been a month since I’ve been in India. I can’t believe how quickly the last few weeks have gone.

Classes are starting to pick up and my schedule is getting busier and busier. I like having a routine, some sort of structure to my days. It finally feels like I am here for a semester and not just as a tourist. But this comes with some negatives. At first the cultural differences had no effect on me. If anything, I thought they were cute and amazing, sometimes even laughable. Yeah the rickshaw driver is driving way too eradically but he knows what he’s doing. So four people cut me in line at the phone store, no big deal. Be patient Melissa. But now that I’m dealing with these differences all day everyday, it’s not so cute. I’m tired of being stared at. I get it, I’m white. And when I ask a question please acknowledge my presence, don’t just look away. At home, these are just manners, common courtesy. But here it’s not seen as offensive or rude.

So I’ve come up with a few ways to remind myself that however annoying these cultural differences may be, there are plenty of positives that outweight the negatives. I might have to ride my bike to class in the blistering heat but at least I can enjoy my beautiful, green campus.  Maybe I’ll see a monkey on my way. The classroom might have four fans, 60 flies, and 40 students who don’t  feel that deodorant is necessary but the lecture will be interesting and worthwhile. I might be eating white rice and daal again for dinner but at least they serve ice cream for dessert.

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